License plate readers to be installed on Chicago area expressways

After more than 150 shootings on Chicago area expressways this year, license plate readers are now being installed at the entrance and exits of expressways.

It's a step forward in safety, but not everyone is sure the cameras will help catch criminals. 

"I want to make sure it's the highest technology possible to ward off this senseless violence," said Alma Hill.

Alma Hill pushed for license plate readers on Chicago area expressways.

Her sister Tamara Clayton was killed on Interstate 57 in 2019.

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There was no video to capture what happened, and no evidence that lead to the shooter.

Now, Illinois State Police announced license plate readers are going up.

They say they were tested and showed a 99 percent success rate, and believe they will help cut down on expressway shootings.


"It gives us a starting point that our investigators truly need," said ISP Major Matthew Gainer.

Hill was hoping with the $12.5 million handed down from IDOT to ISP back in February that HD video cameras would be installed.

"When has a criminal ever used current license plate? It doesn't happen. It's usually stolen. I want to make sure we have everything in place to fight this fight," said Hill.

ISP started putting the license plate cameras up on the Dan Ryan, which is the most dangerous expressway in the state, where 51 shootings have happened this year.

Troopers will have access to IDOT's video cameras on the Dan Ryan and 290 to investigate crimes.

"The license plate readers will give our investigators a better tool to be able to locate a victim or a witness," said Gainer.

The goal is to install 300 plate readers in the next 12 months, covering all major Chicago expressways.